Photo Credit: Michael Kelly

1.5 million young Catholics throng World Youth Day final mass

Enormous crowds of young pilgrims have packed the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Lisbon, with some 1.5 million attending the final Mass said by Pope Francis at the gathering today.

Pope Francis challenged young pilgrims  to ask themselves, “What will we take back with us to the valley of our daily lives?” Drawing on the day’s Gospel, the Holy Father proposed three verbs: to shine, to listen, and to be unafraid.

Vatican News reported:

The Gospel reading recounts the event of the Transfiguration, where Jesus appeared to His three closest disciples with His face shining like the sun and His clothes gleaming white, precisely in order to prepare his disciples for the dark hours they would face at Gethsemane and Calvary.

“We, too, need light, a burst of light that is hope to face so much darkness that assails us in life,” the Pope said. That light, he explained, “is Jesus, because He is the light that does not go out, the light that shines even in the night.” It is Jesus, he said, “that enlightens our eyes, enlightens our heart, enlightens our mind, enlightens our desire to do something in life, always with the light of the Lord.”

At the same time, he warned that “we do not become luminous when we focus the spotlight on ourselves.” Instead, “We become luminous, we shine, when, welcoming Jesus, we learn to love like Him. To love like Jesus: that makes us luminous, that leads us to do works of love.”

Writing from Lisbon, editor of the Irish Catholic, Michael Kelly, said that: “what will I take away from #WorldYouthDay – the number of young Irish people I have met here raised as functional atheists who have embraced Catholicism. Some of them to the bewilderment of their parents. The future is bright”

Stories from the pilgrimage packed social media feeds in the past week.


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